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Poetry Analysis Notes



 

A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns
interpreted by Nick Theodosakis

O, my love is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June,
O, my love is like the melody,
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonny lass,
So deep in love am I,
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love,
And fare thee weel a wile!
And I will come again, my love,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!

Poet: - "A Red, Red Rose" was written by Robert Burns
- Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland, a village on the river Doon in
1759
- He was a farmer for most of his life, despite his success in writing
- He had little formal education, but read many books
- Wrote brilliant narratives like 'Tom
o' Shanter," satires like "The Holy Fair,"
and even songs, like "Auld Lang Syne"
- He died in 1796, due to heart problems caused by his hard life of farming.
He lived to be 37

Vocabulary: Language is fairly simple. Just a few Scottish colloquialisms.
Bonny - Pretty
Gang - Go


Type of poem:
Lyric

Speaker: Poet himself

Audience:
Speaker's lover

Tone: - The tone is failry happy
- The poet is speaking to his love about how much he loves her and how
devoted he is to her, "and I will love thee still my dear, till all the seas
gang dry," (lines 7-8)
- The author tells his love he must leave her, but this does not significantly
affect the tone, as the poet assures his love he will be back, "and I will
come again, my love, tho' it were ten thousand mile," (lines 15-16)

Meaning:
- This poem is a description by the poet of how much he loves his
sweetheart. He tells her he will love her forever, and describes his
love for her as beautiful as a rose, "O, my love is like a red, red rose,
that's newly sprung in June," (lines 1-2), hence the title.
- At the end, the author tells his love that he must leave her, that he will
be back no matter what, "Tho' it were ten thousand mile," (line 16).


Structure of poem: The structure is traditional. It uses many traditional patterns,
including:
- End rhyme
- Equal length stanzas


Examples of poetic techniques used in the poem:

"So deep in love am I," "Till a' the seas gang dry." End Rhyme
"My love is like a red, red rose,"
Alliteration
"My love is like a red, red rose,"
Simile
"And I will love the still my dear, till a' the seas gang dry,"
Hyperbole

Connection between the poem and the poet's life and/or times: The language somewhat reflects Burns' Scottish background. Words like "bonny" and "gang" are used more commonly by the Scottish.

Most memorable quote from the poem:
"And I will come again my love, tho it were then thousand mile!" (lines 15-16)

© Smelli Notes 2001